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Recent Longevity News for the seven days ending 2/15/12.  You should consult your doctor if you are taking any medications.

Lipsticks, Perfumes May Be Hazardous to Health - ABC News, 2/14/12 - "400 lipsticks on the market tested positive for lead, according to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a coalition that advocates for safer cosmetics and hygiene products ... Maybelline Color Sensation by L’Oreal USA was the worst-offending lipstick of the group tested ... There are no FDA standards in regulating the amount of chemicals in products ... Seventy-five percent of the time, fragrances contain phthalates, a known-carcinogen that causes reproductive issues in the body"

Omega-3s linked to slower eye sight loss in people with retinal disease: Study - Nutra USA, 2/14/12 - "people with the condition who consume at least 0.2 grams per day of omega-3 fatty acids have a 40% slower average annual rate of decline in distance visual acuity, compared with people with lower intakes" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.

The Body Odd - Frozen with fear? How the love hormone gets you moving - MSNBC, 2/13/12 - "a new study shows how the brain speedily delivers the hormone oxytocin — which new mothers have in elevated levels, starting with childbirth — to where it's needed, freeing them to protect their young. ... The study, done in rats, revealed that oxytocin rushes to the brain region governing fear ... The findings "could have implications for autism, anxiety and fear disorders," ... Oxytocin's dampening effect on fear is especially relevant for lactating mothers, who have high oxytocin levels, and can best defend their offspring from a threat when not frozen in terror. Similarly, during childbirth, elevated oxytocin delivery to the amygdala "may be important in reducing anxiety and fear levels," - See Oxytocin Factor or Oxytocin 6x5iu tablets at International Antiaging Systems.

Mediterranean Diet May Protect Brain - WebMD, 2/13/12 - "white matter hyperintensity volume (WMHV) ... WMHV is an indicator of small blood vessel damage in the brain and is detected by magnetic resonance screening (MRI) ... researchers compared the brain scans and diets of 966 adults with an average age of 72 ... those who most closely followed a Mediterranean diet had a lower measure of WMHV than those who did not. Each increase in the Mediterranean diet score was associated with a corresponding decrease in white matter hyperintensity volume score ... the aspect of the Mediterranean diet that seemed to matter most was the ratio of monounsaturated fat to saturated fat"

More Evidence Links Low Vitamin D to Depression - Medscape, 2/13/12 - "One thing that complicates trials is that if you give someone vitamin D, it takes a long time for it to have much effect, as vitamin D levels go up and down very slowly; it probably wouldn't be a fast antidepressant" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Good aerobic capacity promotes learning - Science Daily, 2/13/12 - "It was found that rats with intrinsically high aerobic capacity clearly outperformed those with intrinsically low aerobic capacity. It must be emphasized that the animals were not given any physical exercise before the learning test. Thus, the results suggest that it is the aerobic capacity and not physical activity alone that is related to flexible cognition"

Magnesium linked to better blood pressure: Meta-analysis - Nutra USA, 2/13/12 - "data pooled from seven prospective studies revealed that, for every 100 mg per day increase in magnesium intake, the risk of stroke was reduced by about 9% ... magnesium supplementation was associated with a 3 to 4 mmHg reduction in systolic blood pressure and a 2-3 mmHg reduction in diastolic blood pressure, with the best results observed for doses over 370 milligrams per day" - See magnesium supplements at Amazon.com.

Low Vitamin D in Pregnancy Linked to Language Problems in Children - WebMD, 2/13/12 - "A new study from Australia suggests that white women who had the lowest stores of vitamin D during their second trimester were nearly twice as likely to have a child with language difficulties than women with the highest blood concentrations" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Curry spice component may help slow prostate tumor growth - Science Daily, 2/10/12 - "androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) ... curcumin suppresses two known nuclear receptor activators, p300 and CPB (or CREB1-binding protein), which have been shown to work against ADT ... These data demonstrate for the first time that curcumin not only hampers the transition of ADT-sensitive disease to castration-resistance, but is also effective in blocking the growth of established castrate-resistant prostate tumors" - See curcumin products at Amazon.com.

Phosphate additives pose a risk to health, study suggests - Science Daily, 2/10/12 - "phosphate consumption elevates mortality in patients with renal disease. Recent studies have also shown that phosphate apparently damages blood vessels and induces aging processes. Free phosphate (the type found in food additives) is entirely resorbed in the gastrointestinal tract. Persons with renal disease have been found to have a markedly elevated serum phosphate concentration ... It seems likely that excessive phosphate consumption is linked to the increased prevalence of cardiovascular diseases in the general population"

Knee Replacement Can Lead to Longer Life - Medscape, 2/10/12 - "Patients with severe osteoarthritis of the knee who undergo knee replacement have a 7-year mortality rate that is half that of those who don't undergo the procedure ... Also, those with knee replacements had a slightly lower rate of heart failure at 3 years (21.1%; HR, 0.89; P < .001) and at 7 years (40.9%; HR, 0.93; P < .001)"

Probiotic Effects in Infants Last Until 4 Years of Age - Medscape, 2/10/12 - "Infants exposed to Lactobacillus rhamnosus through diet supplements from 35 weeks' gestation through 2 years of age had a significantly lower risk for eczema and rhinoconjunctivitis. The protective effect lasted until the children were at least 4 years of age" - See probiotics at Amazon.com.

Controlling parents more likely to have delinquent children - Science Daily, 2/10/12 - "When children consider their parents to be legitimate authority figures, they trust the parent and feel they have an obligation to do what their parents tell them to do. This is an important attribute for any authority figure to possess, as the parent does not have to rely on a system of rewards and punishments to control behavior, and the child is more likely to follow the rules when the parent is not physically present"

Ten Foods Provide Half of Sodium Eaten in US - Medscape, 2/10/12 - "bread, cold cuts and cured meats, pizza, poultry, soups, sandwiches, cheese, pasta mixed dishes, meat mixed dishes, and savory snacks"

Heart disease may be a risk factor for prostate cancer - Science Daily, 2/8/12 - "What's good for the heart may be good for the prostate ... Having coronary artery disease increased the men's risk of prostate cancer by 35 percent, with the risk rising over time. The group was 24 percent more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer within the first two years of the study than men who reported no heart disease, and by four years into the study, this group's prostate cancer risk was 74 percent higher"

Study to determine whether fish oil can help prevent psychiatric disorders - Science Daily, 2/8/12 - "Researchers at Zucker Hillside Hospital's Recognition and Prevention (RAP) Program who have worked with teenagers at risk for serious mental illness for the past decade are now studying the effectiveness of Omega 3 fatty acids (fish oil) for treating psychiatric symptoms ... Of the 300 adolescents who have participated in the RAP Program, most have shown substantial improvement" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.

Surprising reasons you're tired all the time - MSNBC, 2/7/12 - "Anemia ... Diabetes ... Thyroid Disease ... Depression ... Rheumatoid Arthritis"

Do Glaucoma, Erectile Dysfunction Have a Common Cause? - Medscape, 2/7/12 - "Men with erectile dysfunction (ED) have a nearly 3-fold greater risk for also having open-angle glaucoma (OAG) than men with normal erectile function ... The study suggests that OAG and ED appear to have a common mechanism of endothelial dysfunction related to nitric oxide"

Abstracts from this week's Doctor's Guide Nutrition/Dietetics plus abstracts from my RSS feeds (Click here for the journals, the PubMed ones at the top):

Cocoa intake and arterial stiffness in subjects with cardiovascular risk factors - Nutr J. 2012 Feb 10;11(1):8 - "In subjects with some cardiovascular risk factors, cocoa consumption does not imply improvement in the arterial stiffness values"

Low 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Is Associated with Increased Mortality in Female Nursing Home Residents - J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Feb 8 - "We examined 961 study participants (age 83.7 +/- 6.1 yr). Median 25(OH)D concentration was 17.5 (interquartile range 13.7-25.5) nmol/liter, and 93% of our cohort had 25(OH)D levels below 50 nmol/liter. During a mean follow-up time of 27 +/- 8 months, 284 patients died. Compared with the fourth quartile (25[OH]D >25.5 nmol/liter), the age-adjusted HR (with 95% confidence interval) was 1.49 (1.07-2.10) in the first 25(OH)D quartile (25[OH]D <14.0 nmol/liter), and this association remained significant after multivariate adjustments (HR = 1.56; 95% confidence interval = 1.01-2.40)" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

High-Fiber Foods Reduce Periodontal Disease Progression in Men Aged 65 and Older: The Veterans Affairs Normative Aging Study/Dental Longitudinal Study - J Am Geriatr Soc. 2012 Feb 8 - "Dental and physical examinations were conducted every 3 to 5 years. Diet was assessed using food frequency questionnaires (FFQs). Mean follow-up was 15 years (range: 2-24 years) ... alveolar bone loss (ABL) ... In men aged 65 and older, each serving of good to excellent sources of total fiber was associated with lower risk of ABL progression (HR = 0.76, 95% CI = 0.60-0.95) and tooth loss (HR = 0.72, 95% CI = 0.53-0.97). Of the different food groups, only fruits that were good to excellent sources of fiber were associated with lower risk of progression of ABL (HR = 0.86 per serving, 95% CI = 0.78-0.95), PPD (HR = 0.95, 95% CI = 0.91-0.99), and tooth loss (HR = 0.88, 95% CI = 0.78-0.99). No significant associations were seen in men younger than 65"

Association Between Visceral Obesity and Sarcopenia and Vitamin D Deficiency in Older Koreans: The Ansan Geriatric Study - J Am Geriatr Soc. 2012 Feb 8 - "Greater visceral fat and lower muscle mass were associated with lower 25(OH)D levels in elderly Korean men, suggesting that screening for vitamin D deficiency may be appropriate in older Koreans with visceral obesity or sarcopenia. Sarcopenic obesity as defined according to prespecified criteria did not have an additive association with 25(OH)D levels" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Acetyl-l-carnitine supplementation reverses the age-related decline in carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 (CPT1) activity in interfibrillar mitochondria without changing the l-carnitine content in the rat heart - Mech Ageing Dev. 2012 Feb 1 - "The aging heart displays a loss of bioenergetic reserve capacity partially mediated through lower fatty acid utilization. We investigated whether the age-related impairment of cardiac fatty acid catabolism occurs, at least partially, through diminished levels of l-carnitine, which would adversely affect carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 (CPT1), the rate-limiting enzyme for fatty acyl-CoA uptake into mitochondria for β-oxidation. Old (24-28 mos) Fischer 344 rats were fed+/-acetyl-l-carnitine (ALCAR; 1.5% [w/v]) for up to four weeks prior to sacrifice and isolation of cardiac interfibrillar (IFM) and subsarcolemmal (SSM) mitochondria. IFM displayed a 28% (p<0.05) age-related loss of CPT1 activity, which correlated with a decline (41%, p<0.05) in palmitoyl-CoA-driven state 3 respiration. Interestingly, SSM had preserved enzyme function and efficiently utilized palmitate. Analysis of IFM CPT1 kinetics showed both diminished V(max) and K(m) (60% and 49% respectively, p<0.05) when palmitoyl-CoA was the substrate. However, no age-related changes in enzyme kinetics were evident with respect to l-carnitine. ALCAR supplementation restored CPT1 activity in heart IFM, but not apparently through remediation of l-carnitine levels. Rather, ALCAR influenced enzyme activity over time, potentially by modulating conditions in the aging heart that ultimately affect palmitoyl-CoA binding and CPT1 kinetics" - See propionyl-l-carnitine products at Amazon.com.

Ginseng as a Potential Novel Addition to the Antikeloid Weaponry - Phytother Res. 2012 Feb 8 - "Keloid scars are large protruding claw-shaped lesions that develop beyond the confines of the wound and uniquely appears only in humans. For thousands of years ginseng has been used in the traditional medicine in oriental countries. It occupies a prominent position in the list of the best-selling medicinal herbs in the world. Panax ginseng often called Asian or Korean ginseng, is the most extensively used and the best grade of ginseng and the term of 'ginseng' generally refers to Panax ginseng. Previous studies have revealed that ginseng inhibits NF-kappa B, TGF-β, IL-6, ACE and MMP-2 and these factors play a pivotal role in keloid formation pathogenesis. Therefore it could be reasoned that ginseng could be effective for the treatment of the keloid scars. Clinical studies by topical applications of iPanax notoginseng (800 µg/ml) are warranted" - See ginseng at Amazon.com.

Immunomodulation of microglia by docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid - Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2012 Mar;15(2):134-43 - "Immunomodulation by ω-3 FAs is mediated by several pathways that are interconnected and is a potential therapy for disorders in the CNS" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.

Vitamin D3 and the risk of CVD in overweight and obese women: a randomised controlled trial - Br J Nutr. 2012 Feb 9:1-8 - "We investigated the effect of vitamin D3 supplementation on cardiovascular risk factors in women. Healthy premenopausal overweight and obese women (n 77; mean age 38 (sd 8.1) years) were randomly allocated to the vitamin D (25 μg/d as cholecalciferol) or the placebo group in a double-blind manner for 12 weeks ... The findings showed that supplementation with vitamin D3 can significantly improve HDL-cholesterol, apoA-I concentrations and LDL-cholesterol:apoB-100 ratio, which remained significant in the multivariate model including anthropometric, dietary and physical activity measures" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Effect of omega-3 fatty acids supplementation on endothelial function: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials - Atherosclerosis. 2012 Jan 20 - "Supplementation of omega-3 fatty acids significantly improves the endothelial function without affecting endothelium-independent dilation" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.

(-)-Epigallocatechin gallate induces Fas/CD95-mediated apoptosis through inhibiting constitutive and IL-6-induced JAK/STAT3 signaling in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cells - J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Feb 7 - "These findings provide that EGCG may be useful in the chemoprevention and/or treatment of HNSCC" - See green tea extract at Amazon.com.

Effect of high doses of folic acid supplementation in early pregnancy on child neurodevelopment at 18 months of age: the mother-child cohort 'Rhea' study in Crete, Greece - Public Health Nutr. 2012 Feb 8:1-9 - "Sixty-eight per cent of the study participants reported high doses of supplemental folic acid use (5 mg/d), while 24 % reported excessive doses of folic acid (>5 mg/d) in early pregnancy. Compared with non-users, daily intake of 5 mg supplemental folic acid was associated with a 5-unit increase on the scale of receptive communication and a 3.5-unit increase on the scale of expressive communication. Doses of folic acid supplementation higher than 5 mg/d were not associated with additional increase in the neurodevelopmental scales"

Neat Tech Stuff / "How To's":

Health Focus (Depression):

Popular Supplements:

Neurotransmitters in Various Disorders:
  Major Depressive Disorder Generalized Anxiety Disorder Panic Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder Phobia Smoking ADHD Obesity
Serotonin X X X X X X      
Norepinephrine X X X     X X X X
Dopamine X           X X X
Source: American Psychiatric Association 155th Annual Meeting, May 18 - 23, 2002

Alternative News:

  • A link between oxytocin and serotonin in humans: Supporting evidence from peripheral markers - Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2012 Jan 30 - "Pharmacological studies indicate a functional interaction between the serotonergic and oxytocinergic systems. In particular, some selective serotonin (5-HT) reuptake inhibitors, such as citalopram and fluvoxamine, seem to exert part of their antidepressant effects through oxytocin (OT) release. Further, the administration of fenfluramine, a serotonergic agonist, to healthy subjects increases plasma OT levels. Interestingly, immunocytochemical and double-immunofluorescent techniques revealed a high degree of overlap between 5-HT transporter (SERT)-labeled fibers and OT-containing cells ... This result represents the first evidence of an interaction between OT and SERT, as measured by [(3)H]-Par binding, at peripheral levels in humans. Given the several activities mediated by both OT and 5-HT, such a relationship might provide new perspectives and insights into psychiatric disorders and/or social relationship disturbances, as well as novel treatment strategies overcoming and/or integrating the serotonergic paradigm" - See oxytocin 6x5iu tablets at International Antiaging Systems or Oxytocin Factor.
  • Low vitamin D levels linked to depression, psychiatrists report - Science Daily, 1/5/12 - "UT Southwestern researchers examined the results of almost 12,600 participants from late 2006 to late 2010. Dr. Brown and colleagues from The Cooper Institute found that higher vitamin D levels were associated with a significantly decreased risk of current depression, particularly among people with a prior history of depression. Low vitamin D levels were associated with depressive symptoms, particularly those with a history of depression, so primary care patients with a history of depression may be an important target for assessing vitamin D levels. The study did not address whether increasing vitamin D levels reduced depressive symptoms" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.
  • Associations between n-3 PUFA concentrations and cognitive function after recovery from late-life depression - Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Jan 4 - "sample of 132 eligible participants who had recovered from major depression (mean +/- SD age: 67.8 +/- 6.6 y) were enrolled from outpatient psychiatric services. A series of cognitive tests and a structured questionnaire were administered. Fasting blood samples were collected for n-3 PUFA measurements ... the strongest and most consistent correlations were found between immediate recall and concentrations of total n-3 PUFAs and α-linolenic acid (ALA) in erythrocytes, which were observed only in participants with recurrent depression ... Total erythrocyte n-3 PUFA concentrations are positively associated with cognitive function, particularly immediate recall, in older people with previous depression. Lower concentrations of n-3 PUFAs or ALA in erythrocyte membranes may be good predictors for cognitive impairment in older people with previous recurrent depression" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • Frequent consumption of vegetables predicts lower risk of depression in older Taiwanese - results of a prospective population-based study - Public Health Nutr. 2011 Dec 16:1-6 - "In a regression model that controlled for demographic, socio-economic, lifestyle and disease/health-related variables but not cognitive status, both fruits (OR = 0.66, 95 % CI 0.45, 0.98, P = 0.038) and vegetables (OR = 0.38, 95 % CI 0.17, 0.86, P = 0.021) were protective against depressive symptoms 4 years later. However, when the same regression model was also adjusted for cognitive status, only vegetables (OR = 0.40, 95 % CI 0.17, 0.95, P = 0.039) were protective against depressive symptoms. Higher consumption of eggs was close to being significant in both regression models (P = 0.087 and 0.069, respectively). Other food categories including meat/poultry, fish, seafood, dairy, legumes, grains and tea showed no significant associations"
  • Increased caffeinated coffee consumption associated with decreased risk of depression in women, study finds - Science Daily, 9/26/11 - "During the 10-year follow-up period from 1996 to 2006, researchers identified 2,607 incident (new-onset) cases of depression. When compared with women who consumed one cup of caffeinated coffee or less per week, those who consumed two to three cups per day had a 15 percent decrease in relative risk for depression, and those consuming four cups or more per day had a 20 percent decrease in relative risk. Compared with women in the lowest (less than 100 milligrams [mg] per day) categories of caffeine consumption, those in the highest category (550 mg per day or more) had a 20 percent decrease in relative risk of depression. No association was found between intake of decaffeinated coffee and depression risk"
  • ffects of n-3 fatty acids, EPA v. DHA, on depressive symptoms, quality of life, memory and executive function in older adults with mild cognitive impairment: a 6-month randomised controlled trial - Br J Nutr. 2011 Sep 20:1-12 - "Depressive symptoms may increase the risk of progressing from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to dementia. Consumption of n-3 PUFA may alleviate both cognitive decline and depression ... A total of fifty people aged >65 years with MCI were allocated to receive a supplement rich in EPA (1.67 g EPA+0.16 g DHA/d; n 17), DHA (1.55 g DHA+0.40 g EPA/d; n 18) or the n-6 PUFA linoleic acid (LA; 2.2 g/d; n 15). Treatment allocation was by minimisation based on age, sex and depressive symptoms (Geriatric Depression Scale, GDS). Physiological and cognitive assessments, questionnaires and fatty acid composition of erythrocytes were obtained at baseline and 6 months (completers: n 40; EPA n 13, DHA n 16, LA n 11). Compared with the LA group, GDS scores improved in the EPA (P = 0.04) and DHA (P = 0.01) groups and verbal fluency (Initial Letter Fluency) in the DHA group (P = 0.04). Improved GDS scores were correlated with increased DHA plus EPA (r 0.39, P = 0.02). Improved self-reported physical health was associated with increased DHA. There were no treatment effects on other cognitive or QOL parameters. Increased intakes of DHA and EPA benefited mental health in older people with MCI. Increasing n-3 PUFA intakes may reduce depressive symptoms and the risk of progressing to dementia. This needs to be investigated in larger, depressed samples with MCI" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • Mind-altering microbes: Probiotic bacteria may lessen anxiety and depression - Science Daily, 8/29/11 - "Probiotic bacteria have the potential to alter brain neurochemistry and treat anxiety and depression-related disorders ... mice fed with Lactobacillus rhamnosus JB-1 showed significantly fewer stress, anxiety and depression-related behaviours than those fed with just broth. Moreover, ingestion of the bacteria resulted in significantly lower levels of the stress-induced hormone, corticosterone ... regular feeding with the Lactobacillus strain caused changes in the expression of receptors for the neurotransmitter GABA in the mouse brain, which is the first time that it has been demonstrated that potential probiotics have a direct effect on brain chemistry in normal situations" - See probiotics at Amazon.com
  • Vitamin D intake from foods and supplements and depressive symptoms in a diverse population of older women - Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Aug 24 - "After age, physical activity, and other factors were controlled for, women who reported a total intake of ≥800 IU vitamin D/d had a prevalence OR for depressive symptoms of 0.79 (95% CI: 0.71, 0.89; P-trend < 0.001) compared with women who reported a total intake of <100 IU vitamin D/d. In analyses limited to women without evidence of depression at baseline, an intake of ≥400 compared with <100 IU vitamin D/d from food sources was associated with 20% lower risk of depressive symptoms at year 3 (OR: 0.80; 95% CI: 0.67, 0.95; P-trend = 0.001). The results for supplemental vitamin D were less consistent, as were the results from secondary analyses that included as cases women who were currently using antidepressant medications ... Overall, our findings support a potential inverse association of vitamin D, primarily from food sources, and depressive symptoms in postmenopausal women" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.
  • A gut-full of probiotics for your neurological well-being - Science Daily, 7/5/11 - "A recent study in mice, for example, showed that the presence of neurochemicals such a serotonin in the bloodstream was due to direct uptake from the gut ... Until recently the idea that probiotic bacteria administered to the intestine could influence the brain seemed almost surreal ... Yet in Lyte's paper the concept is supported by studies showing that microbes can produce and respond to neurochemicals, which can induce neurological and immunological effects on the host ... The research presents an idea for selecting probiotic strains with neurological applications and linking this with immune-modulatory effects, while highlighting the fact that microbial strains already being widely ingested in fermented food can produce neurochemicals" - See Garden of Life, Primal Defense at Amazon.com.
  • Omega-3 may reduce depression symptoms in the elderly: Study - Nutra USA, 5/18/11 - "According to findings published in The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, depressed women who received daily supplements containing 2.5 grams of omega-3 experienced significant reductions in their symptoms ... In addition, researchers from the University of Pavia also report that omega-3 supplements providing a daily EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) dose of 1.67 grams and a daily DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) dose of 0.83 grams reported improvements in the ‘quality of life’" - [Abstract] - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • Deficiency of dietary omega-3 may explain depressive behaviors - Science Daily, 1/30/11 - "The dietary ratio between omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid omega-3 increased continuously over the course of the 20th century. These fatty acids are "essential" lipids because the body cannot synthesize them from new ... the researchers studied mice fed a life-long diet imbalanced in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. They found that omega-3 deficiency disturbed neuronal communication specifically. The researchers observed that only the cannabinoid receptors, which play a strategic role in neurotransmission, suffer a complete loss of function. This neuronal dysfunction was accompanied by depressive behaviours among the malnourished mice" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • Eating poorly can make you blue: Trans-fats increase risk of depression, while olive oil helps avoid risk - Science Daily, 1/26/11 - "the participants with an elevated consumption of trans-fats (fats present in artificial form in industrially-produced pastries and fast food, and naturally present in certain whole milk products) "presented up to a 48% increase in the risk of depression when they were compared to participants who did not consume these fats," ... In addition, the study demonstrated a dose-response relationship, "whereby the more trans-fats were consumed, the greater the harmful effect they produced in the volunteers," ...Furthermore, the team, ... also analyzed the influence of polyunsaturated fats (abundant in fish and vegetable oils) and of olive oil on the occurrence of depression. "In fact, we discovered that this type of healthier fats, together with olive oil, are associated with a lower risk of suffering depression,""
  • Not All Omega-3s Equal When It Comes to Antidepressant Effects - Medscape, 12/8/10 - "In fact, only eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) — and not docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) — is associated with mood improvement in patients with depression" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids for major depressive disorder associated with the menopausal transition: a preliminary open trial - Menopause. 2010 Oct 27 - "The pretreatment and final mean MADRS scores were 24.2 and 10.7, respectively, reflecting a significant decrease in MADRS scores (P < 0.0001). The response rate was 70% (MADRS score decrease of ≥50%), and the remission rate was 45% (final MADRS score of ≤7). Responders had significantly lower pretreatment docosahexaenoic acid levels than nonresponders did (P = 0.03). Hot flashes were present in 15 (75%) participants. Among those with hot flashes at baseline, the number of hot flashes per day improved significantly from baseline (P = 0.02) and Hot Flash Related Daily Interference Scale scores decreased significantly ... These data support further study of omega-3 fatty acids for major depressive disorder and hot flashes in women during the menopausal transition" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • Probiotics show potential against stress-related conditions - Nutra USA 10/29/10 - "Results showed that levels of psychological distress, including measures of depression, anger-hostility, anxiety, and problem solving, were significantly improved in the probiotic group, compared with placebo" - [Abstract] - See probiotics at Amazon.com.
  • Assessment of psychotropic-like properties of a probiotic formulation ( Lactobacillus helveticus R0052 and Bifidobacterium longum R0175) in rats and human subjects - Br J Nutr. 2010 Oct 26:1-9 - "In the preclinical study, rats were daily administered PF for 2 weeks and subsequently tested in the conditioned defensive burying test, a screening model for anti-anxiety agents. In the clinical trial, volunteers participated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised parallel group study with PF administered for 30 d and assessed with the Hopkins Symptom Checklist (HSCL-90), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), the Perceived Stress Scale, the Coping Checklist (CCL) and 24 h urinary free cortisol (UFC). Daily subchronic administration of PF significantly reduced anxiety-like behaviour in rats (P < 0.05) and alleviated psychological distress in volunteers, as measured particularly by the HSCL-90 scale (global severity index, P < 0.05; somatisation, P < 0.05; depression, P < 0.05; and anger-hostility, P < 0.05), the HADS (HADS global score, P < 0.05; and HADS-anxiety, P < 0.06), and by the CCL (problem solving, P < 0.05) and the UFC level (P < 0.05). L. helveticus R0052 and B. longum R0175 taken in combination display anxiolytic-like activity in rats and beneficial psychological effects in healthy human volunteers" - Note, in case you missed it, it's saying that it also reduced cortisol. See probiotics at Amazon.com.
  • Fish and n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Intake and Depressive Symptoms: Ryukyus Child Health Study - Pediatrics. 2010 Aug 16 - "The prevalence of depressive symptoms was 22.5% for boys and 31.2% for girls. For boys, fish intake was inversely associated with depressive symptoms (adjusted odds ratio [OR] for depressive symptoms in the highest [compared with the lowest] quintile of intake: 0.73 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.55-0.97]; P for trend = .04). EPA intake showed an inverse association with depressive symptoms (OR: 0.71 [95% CI: 0.54-0.94]; P = .04). DHA intake also showed a similar inverse, albeit nonsignificant, association (OR: 0.79 [95% CI: 0.59-1.05]; P = .11). In addition, intake of EPA plus DHA was inversely associated with depressive symptoms (OR: 0.72 [95% CI: 0.55-0.96]; P = .08). Conversely, no such associations were observed among girls" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • Adding Nutritional Supplement to Antidepressant Therapy May Boost Response in Refractory Depression - Medscape, 8/18/10 - "significantly more SAMe-treated than placebo-treated patients (36.1% vs 17.6%) experienced a clinical response on the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D), which was the primary study outcome. Remission rates (ie, HAM-D score of ≤7) were also higher with SAMe than with placebo (25.8% vs 11.7%)" - See SAM-e at Amazon.com.
  • Role of zinc in the development and treatment of mood disorders - Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2010 Aug 4 - "Not only has zinc deficiency been shown to induce depression-like and anxiety-like behaviors, supplementation has been used as a treatment for major depression. Zinc administration improves the efficacy of antidepressant drugs in depressed patients and may have a particular role to play in treatment-resistant patients. Recent investigations into the molecular mechanisms responsible for these observations suggest a role for zinc in the regulation of neurotransmitter systems, antioxidant mechanisms, neurotrophic factors, and neuronal precursor cells" - See Jarrow Zinc Balance at Amazon.com (too much zinc can cause a copper difficiency).
  • Effect of Omega-3 Fatty Acids Supplementation on Depressive Symptoms and on Health-Related Quality of Life in the Treatment of Elderly Women with Depression: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Randomized Clinical Trial - J Am Coll Nutr. 2010 Feb;29(1):55-64 - "Supplementation with n-3 LCPUFA is efficacious in the amelioration of depressive symptoms and quality of life in the treatment of depressed elderly female patients" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • S-Adenosyl Methionine (SAMe) Augmentation of Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors for Antidepressant Nonresponders With Major Depressive Disorder: A Double-Blind, Randomized Clinical Trial - Am J Psychiatry. 2010 Jul 1 - "These preliminary results suggest that SAMe can be an effective, well-tolerated, and safe adjunctive treatment strategy for SRI nonresponders with major depressive disorder and warrant replication" - See SAM-e at Amazon.com.
  • Vitamins B6, B12 May Protect Against Depression in Older Adults - Medscape, 7/1/10 - "Odds of depressive symptoms were 2% lower per year for each additional 10 mg of vitamin B6 and an additional 10 μg of vitamin B12"
  • Treating depression with Omega-3: Encouraging results from largest clinical study - Science Daily, 6/21/10 - "Initial analyses failed to clearly demonstrate the effectiveness of Omega-3 for all patients taking part in the study. Other analyses, however, revealed that Omega-3 improved depression symptoms in patients diagnosed with depression unaccompanied by an anxiety disorder. Efficacy for these patients was comparable to that generally observed with conventional antidepressant treatment" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • Is Exercise the Best Drug for Depression - Time Magazine, 6/19/10 - "depressed adults who participated in an aerobic exercise plan improved as much as those treated with sertraline, the drug that was marketed as Zoloft ... Subsequent trials have repeated these results, showing again and again that patients who undergo aerobic exercise regimens see comparable improvement in their depression as those treated with medication, and that both groups do better than patients given only a placebo ... exercise may alter brain chemistry in much the same way that antidepressant drugs do — regulating the key neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine"
  • Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and Depressive Symptoms in Older Women and Men - J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010 May 5 - "Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression Scale (CES-D). Depressed mood was defined as CES-D of 16 or higher ... Women with 25(OH)D less than 50 nmol/liter compared with those with higher levels experienced increases in CES-D scores of 2.1 (P = 0.02) and 2.2 (P = 0.04) points higher at, respectively, 3- and 6-yr follow-up. Women with low vitamin D (Vit-D) had also significantly higher risk of developing depressive mood over the follow-up (hazard ratio = 2.0; 95% confidence interval = 1.2-3.2; P = 0.005). In parallel models, men with 25(OH)D less than 50 nmol/liter compared with those with higher levels experienced increases in CES-D scores of 1.9 (P = 0.01) and 1.1 (P = 0.20) points higher at 3- and 6-yr follow-up. Men with low Vit- D tended to have higher risk of developing depressed mood (hazard ratio = 1.6; 95% confidence interval = 0.9-2.8; P = 0.1). Conclusion: Our findings suggest that hypovitaminosis D is a risk factor for the development of depressive symptoms in older persons. The strength of the prospective association is higher in women than in men"
  • EPA but not DHA appears to be responsible for the efficacy of omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation in depression: evidence from a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials - J Am Coll Nutr. 2009 Oct;28(5):525-42 - "Meta-regression studies showed a significant effect of higher levels of baseline depression and lower supplement DHAEPA ratio on therapeutic efficacy. Subgroup analyses showed significant effects for: (1) diagnostic category (bipolar disorder and major depression showing significant improvement with omega3 LC-PUFA supplementation versus mild-to-moderate depression, chronic fatigue and non-clinical populations not showing significant improvement); (2) therapeutic as opposed to preventive intervention; (3) adjunctive treatment as opposed to monotherapy; and (4) supplement type. Symptoms of depression were not significantly reduced in 3 studies using pure DHA (standardized mean difference 0.001, 95% CI -0.330 to 0.332, z = 0.004, p = 0.997) or in 4 studies using supplements containing greater than 50% DHA (standardized mean difference = 0.141, 95% CI = -0.195 to 0.477, z = 0.821, p = 0.417). In contrast, symptoms of depression were significantly reduced in 13 studies using supplements containing greater than 50% EPA (standardized mean difference = -0.446, 95% CI = -0.753 to -0.138, z = -2.843, p = 0.005) and in 8 studies using pure ethyl-EPA (standardized mean difference = -0.396, 95% CI = -0.650 to -0.141, z = -3.051, p = 0.002). However, further meta-regression studies showed significant inverse associations between efficacy and study methodological quality, study sample size, and duration, thus limiting the confidence of these findings. CONCLUSIONS: The current meta-analysis provides evidence that EPA may be more efficacious than DHA in treating depression. However, owing to the identified limitations of the included studies, larger, well-designed, randomized controlled trials of sufficient duration are needed to confirm these findings" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com.
  • Red clover may counter depressive symptoms in older women - Nutra USA, 3/4/10 - "Symptoms of depression and anxiety were reduced by about 80 per cent following 90 days of supplements containing 80 milligrams of red clover isoflavones" - [Abstract] - See Trinovin (for men), Promensil (for women) at Amazon.com and red clover at Amazon.com.
  • Improvement of postmenopausal depressive and anxiety symptoms after treatment with isoflavones derived from red clover extracts - Maturitas. 2010 Mar;65(3):258-61 - "assigned to receive two daily capsules of MF11RCE (80mg red clover isoflavones, Group A) or placebo of equal appearance (Group B) for a 90-day period ... After receiving the MF11RCE compound the total HADS (anxiety and depression subscale scores also) and the total SDS scores decreased significantly. This effect was equivalent to a 76.9% reduction in the total HADS score (76% for anxiety and 78.3% for depression) and an 80.6% reduction in the total SDS score. After placebo, total HADS (anxiety and depression subscale also) and total SDS scores also decreased significantly in comparison to baseline but only equivalent to an average 21.7% decline. CONCLUSION: Red clover derived isoflavones (MF11RCE) were effective in reducing depressive and anxiety symptoms among postmenopausal women" - See Trinovin at Amazon.com and red clover at Amazon.com.
  • More folate may mean less depression: Study - Nutra USA, 1/27/10 - "Men with the highest blood levels of folate were50 per cent less likely to have symptoms of depression, compared to men with the lowest levels" - [Abstract] - See folic acid products at Amazon.com.
  • Serum folate and homocysteine and depressive symptoms among Japanese men and women - Eur J Clin Nutr. 2010 Jan 20 - "The multivariate-adjusted odds ratios (95% confidence interval) of depressive symptoms for the lowest to highest quartiles of serum folate were 1.00 (reference), 0.53 (0.27-1.03), 0.33 (0.16-0.68) and 0.51 (0.25-1.03), respectively" - See folic acid products at Amazon.com.
  • Green Tea Drinking in Elderly Linked to Lower Risk for Depression - Medscape, 12/29/09 - "Compared with green tea consumption of 1 or less cup per day, odds ratios for mild and severe depressive symptoms were 0.96 for 2 to 3 cups (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.66 - 1.42) and 0.56 for 4 or more cups of green tea per day (95% CI, 0.39 - 0.81; P for trend = .001), after adjustment for confounding factors. Similar associations were seen for severe depressive symptoms" - See green tea extract at Amazon.com.
  • Mood Improves On Low-fat, But Not Low-carb, Diet Plan - Science Daily, 11/10/09 - "After one year, a low-calorie, low-fat diet appears more beneficial to dieters' mood than a low-carbohydrate plan with the same number of calories"
  • Green tea consumption is associated with depressive symptoms in the elderly - Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Oct 14 - "A more frequent consumption of green tea was associated with a lower prevalence of depressive symptoms in the community-dwelling older population" - See green tea extract at Amazon.com.
  • Omega-3 Supplements Provide Mixed Results as Antidepressant - Medscape, 7/8/09 - "There is a large body of epidemiological data to support a link between omega-3 and depression ... For example, 8 of 11 epidemiological studies evaluating the association between depression and fish consumption report a statistically significant inverse association. In other words, less fish means more depression" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • Can Omega-3 Fatty Acids Prevent Depression In Coronary Heart Disease? - Science Daily, 6/9/09 - "The prevalence of depression ranged from 23% in participants in the lowest tertile of omega –3 fatty acids (< 3.1% of total blood fatty acids) to 13% in participants in the highest tertile ( >4.3% of total blood fatty acids; p for trend = 0.004). Each unit decrease in EPA + DHA was inversely associated with depressive symptoms as a continuous variable, and these associations persisted after adjustment for age, sex and race. Similarly, each SD decrease in EPA + DHA was associated with significantly greater odds of depression as a dichotomous variable (Patient Health Questionnaire score >10)" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • Kava for Anxiety: Is Short-Term Use Safe? - WebMD, 5/14/09 - "the WHO report suggested that liver toxicity may be limited to kava formulations that used the whole kava plant, instead of just the root, or used acetone and ethanol to extract the active ingredient from the plant instead of water ... As measured by standardized anxiety and depression questionnaires, the participants reported much less anxiety when they were taking the kava than when they took placebo pills ... Depression levels also dropped among many patients who reported depression and no serious side effects were associated with kava use" - See kava at Amazon.com.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids Ease Depressive Symptoms Related To Menopause - Science Daily, 1/28/09 - "Their study, published in the February issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, presents the first evidence that omega-3 supplements are effective for treating common menopause-related mental health problems ... Test results before and after the eight-week period indicate that omega-3s significantly improved the condition of women suffering symptoms of psychological distress and mild depression ... Women with hot flashes also noted that their condition improved after consuming omega-3s. At baseline, the number of daily hot flashes was 2.8 and dropped by an average of 1.6 in the group taking omega-3s and by 0.5 in the control group" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • St. John's Wort for Depression - Clinical Psychology News, 12/08 - "The best available evidence suggests that St. John's wort is better than placebo for treating major depressive disorder, is as effective as some synthetic antidepressants when used in low to moderate dosing ranges, and has fewer side effects than do synthetic antidepressants"
  • Symptoms Of Depression Associated With Increase In Abdominal Fat - Science Daily, 12/1/08 - "There are several mechanisms by which depression might increase abdominal fat, they note. Chronic stress and depression may activate certain brain areas and lead to increased levels of the hormone cortisol, which promotes the accumulation of visceral fat. Individuals with depression may have unhealthier lifestyles, including a poor diet, that could interact with other physiological factors to produce an increase in abdominal obesity" - See my cortisol page for ways to reduce it.  Cortisol is like the chicken and the egg with depression.  They don't seem to know whether it is the cause or result.
  • St. John's Wort Holds Its Own in Meta-Analysis - Clinical Psychology News, 11/08 - "St. John's wort was more effective than placebo and just as effective as standard antidepressants in treating depression, a Cochrane analysis of 29 studies of almost 5,500 adults with major depression shows" - See St. John's wort at Amazon.com.
  • Magnetic Relief For Depression? - washingtonpost.com, 11/11/08
  • St. John's Wort Relieves Symptoms Of Major Depression, Study Shows - Science Daily, 10/13/08 - "Cochrane Researchers reviewed 29 trials which together included 5,489 patients with symptoms of major depression. All trials employed the commonly used Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression to assess the severity of depression. In trials comparing St. John's wort to other remedies, not only were the plant extracts considered to be equally effective, but fewer patients dropped out of trials due to adverse effects" - See St. John's wort at Amazon.com and St. John's wort at Amazon.com.
  • St. John’s Wort for Major Depression? - WebMD, 10/10/08 - "Can taking an herbal supplement be as good as a prescription medication for people who are severely depressed? ... Researchers in Germany think so" - See St. John's wort at Amazon.com and St. John's wort at Amazon.com.
  • Taking herb 'helps depression'  - BBC News, 10/8/08 - "Overall, the St John's Wort extracts tested in the trials were superior to placebo, similarly effective as standard anti-depressants, and had fewer side effects ... Doctors think it works because the herb keeps serotonin, a chemical which makes you happy, in the brain for longer" - See St. John's wort at Amazon.com and St. John's wort at Amazon.com.
  • Add-On Therapy Improves Depressive Symptoms In Bipolar Disorder - Science Daily, 9/2/08 - "sought to evaluate whether N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), an over-the-counter supplement that increases brain glutathione, might help alleviate depressive symptoms ... Glutathione is the brain’s primary antioxidant defense, and there is evidence of increased oxidative stress in bipolar disorder. Therefore, we studied the potential benefit of NAC treatment in bipolar disorder and found that it impressively remedied residual depressive symptoms" - See n-acetyl cysteine at Amazon.com.
  • St. John's Wort and Duloxetine Equally Effective in Mild to Moderate Depression - Doctor's Guide, 9/1/08 - "Twenty patients received St. John's Wort at a dosage of 900 mg QD, whereas the remaining 20 participants were treated with duloxetine 60  30 mg QD ... In the group of patients suffering from moderate depression, we did not find any statistically significant differences between the 2 treatment groups" - See St. John's wort at Amazon.com.
  • Continuation and long-term maintenance treatment with Hypericum extract WS((R)) 5570 after recovery from an acute episode of moderate depression - A double-blind, randomized, placebo controlled long-term trial - Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2008 Aug 9 - "3x300 mg/day WS((R)) 5570 or placebo for 26 weeks. 426 patients were evaluated for efficacy. Relapse rates during continuation treatment were 51/282 (18.1%) for WS((R)) 5570 and 37/144 (25.7%) for placebo. Average time to relapse was 177+/-2.8 and 163+/-4.4 days for WS((R)) 5570 and placebo, respectively (time-to-event analysis; p=0.034; alpha=0.025 one-sided). Patients treated with WS((R)) 5570 showed more favorable HAMD and Beck Depression Inventory time courses and greater over-all improvement (CGI) than those randomized to placebo. In long-term maintenance treatment a pronounced prophylactic effect of WS((R)) 5570 was observed in patients with an early onset of depression as well as in those with a high degree of chronicity. Adverse event rates under WS((R)) 5570 were comparable to placebo. WS((R)) 5570 showed a beneficial effect in preventing relapse after recovery from acute depression. Tolerability in continuation and long-term maintenance treatment was on the placebo level" - Note:  The 5570 extract is the Perika Brand.  See St. John's wort at Amazon.com.
  • A double-blind dose-finding pilot study of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) for major depressive disorder - Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2008 Jun 5 - "Group A (n=14): 1 g/day of oral DHA; Group B (n=11): 2 g/day; and Group C (n=10): 4 g/day. We measured HAM-D-17 scores, plasma DHA, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and n-6/n-3 ratio. Completer response rates (>/=50% decrease in HAM-D-17 score) were 83% for Group A, 40% for Group B, and 0% for Group C; Groups A and B had significant decreases in HAM-D-17 scores" - See Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • Rhodiola for What Ails You? - Dr. Weil, 5/15/08 - "A 2002 review in Herbalgram, the Journal of the American Botanical Council, reported that over the years, numerous studies of rhodiola in humans and animals have shown that it helps prevent fatigue, stress and the damaging effects of oxygen deprivation. Evidence also suggests that it has an antioxidant effect, enhances immune system function and can increase sexual energy ... A study published in 2007 in the Nordic Journal of Psychiatry showed that patients with mild-to-moderate depression who took a rhodiola extract reported fewer symptoms than those who took a placebo. And a study by researchers at the University of California at Irvine found that fruit flies that ate a diet supplemented with rhodiola lived an average of 10 percent longer than flies that didn't eat this herb" - See Rhodiola rosea at Amazon.com.
  • Plasma eicosapentaenoic acid is inversely associated with severity of depressive symptomatology in the elderly: data from the Bordeaux sample of the Three-City Study - Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 May;87(5):1156-62 - "Higher plasma EPA was associated with a lower severity of DS in elderly subjects, especially those taking antidepressants" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com.
  • Many Depressed Older Adults Lack Vitamin D - WebMD, 5/6/08 - "Researchers reporting in the May issue of Archives of General Psychiatry have linked low blood levels of vitamin D -- the "sunshine vitamin" -- and increased parathyroid hormone levels to depression among older adults" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.
  • Diets With High Omega-6:Omega-3 Ratios Enhance Risk for Depression, Inflammatory Disease - Medscape, 4/25/08 - "Whereas the early hunter-gatherers had a dietary omega-6:omega-3 ratio of 2:1 to 3:1, this ratio is now 15:1 to 17:1 in North America today ... It is believed that these dietary changes might be related to increases in inflammatory-related diseases, including depression and cardiovascular disease ... at higher levels of depressive symptoms, as the omega-6:omega-3 ratio increased, there was a marked increase in proinflammatory cytokine levels ... compared with the study participants who did not have syndromal depression, the 6 participants who had depression had significantly higher omega-6:omega-3 ratios and higher levels of proinflammatory cytokines" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com.
  • Omega-3 EPA may benefit depressives, says study - Nutra USA, 4/7/08 - [Abstract] - "were randomly assigned to receive a daily EPA supplement (1000 mg, supplied by Minami Nutrition, Belgium), or 20 mg fluoxetine daily, or a combination of the two for two months ... At the end of the study, data from the 48 people who finished the study showed a 50 per cent reduction in HDRS scores for people in the EPA group, a 56 per cent reduction in people in the fluoxetin group, and a 81 per cent reduction in people in the combined intervention group" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Major Depressive Disorder During Pregnancy: Results From a Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial - J Clin Psychiatry. 2008 Mar 18;:e1-e8 - "As compared to the placebo group, subjects in the omega-3 group had significantly lower HAM-D scores at weeks 6 (p = .001) and 8 (p = .019), a significantly higher response rate (62% vs. 27%, p = .03), and a higher remission rate, although the latter did not reach statistical significance (38% vs. 18%" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • Comparison of therapeutic effects of omega-3 fatty acid eicosapentaenoic acid and fluoxetine, separately and in combination, in major depressive disorder - Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2008 Mar;42(3):192-8 - "EPA + fluoxetine combination was significantly better than fluoxetine or EPA alone from the fourth week of treatment. Fluoxetine and EPA appear to be equally effective in controlling depressive symptoms. Response rates (>/=50% decrease in baseline HDRS) were 50%, 56% and 81% in the fluoxetine, EPA and combination groups, respectively" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com.
  • Association of folate intake with the occurrence of depressive episodes in middle-aged French men and women - Br J Nutr. 2007 Dec 6;:1-5 - "the risk of experiencing recurrent depressive episodes (two or more) during the follow-up was strongly reduced in men with high folate intake (OR 0.25 (95 % CI 0.06, 0.98) for the highest tertile v. the lowest" - See folic acid at Amazon.com.
  • Folate may reduce depression symptoms for men, says study - Nutra USA, 12/7/07 - "male subjects with the highest average intake (235 micrograms per 100 kcal) were 50 per cent less likely to have depressive symptoms than men with the lowest average intake (119 micrograms per 100 kcal)" - [Abstract] - See folic acid at Amazon.com.
  • High {omega}-6 and Low {omega}-3 Fatty Acids are Associated With Depressive Symptoms and Neuroticism - Psychosom Med. 2007 Nov 8 - "Lower EPA, and higher AA, AA:EPA ratio and AA:DHA ratio were associated with greater NEO-PI-R Neuroticism" - See Mega Twinlab Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com.
  • Low Omega-3s in Diet Linked to Higher Anxiety and Depressive Symptoms in Heart Failure Patients - Doctor's Guide, 11/7/07 - "Heart Failure patients who were prone to depressive symptoms ate 15% fewer omega-3 fatty acids and those with anxiety consumed 14% fewer omega-3 fatty acids than heart failure patients without symptoms"
  • Augmenting antidepressants with folate: a clinical perspective - J Clin Psychiatry. 2007;68 Suppl 10:4-7 - "Folate in particular has been found to further reduce symptoms in patients with depression when used in conjunction with an antidepressant, and because folate is a water-soluble B vitamin, its safety and tolerability are well established. This strategy would typically be used in patients with low plasma or red blood cell folate levels. Folate augmentation may be used (1) to enhance the efficacy of antidepressants in nonresponders, (2) to enable those who partially respond to antidepressant monotherapy to achieve remission, and (3) to alleviate residual symptoms during antidepressant treatment" - See folic acid at Amazon.com.
  • The role of folate in depression and dementia - J Clin Psychiatry. 2007;68 Suppl 10:28-33 - "folate deficiencies may be caused by improper absorption and utilization, often due to genetic polymorphisms. Individuals, therefore, can have insufficient levels or lack needed forms of folate, despite adequate intake. Supplementation with the active form of folate, methyltetrahydrofolate, which is more readily absorbed, may be effective in the prevention and treatment of both depression and dementia" - folic acid at Amazon.com.
  • Antidepressant-Like Effect of Cordyceps sinensis in the Mouse Tail Suspension Test - Biol Pharm Bull. 2007 Sep;30(9):1758-62 - "Cordyceps sinensis (CS) has been known as a component of traditional medicines that elicit various biological effects such as anti-fatigue, immunomodulatory, and hypoglycemic actions. Since it has been well-established that fatigue is closely related to depression, we used the tail suspension test (TST) in mice to examine the antidepressant-like effects of hot water extract (HWCS) and supercritical fluid extract (SCCS) of CS ... these results suggest that SCCS may elicit an antidepressant-like effect by affecting the adrenergic and dopaminergic systems, but not by affecting the serotonergic system" - See cordyceps at Amazon.com.
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone and monoamines in the limbic system of a genetic animal model of childhood depression - Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2007 Aug 20 - "The results from the current study may imply that treatment with DHEA could be a promising novel therapeutic option for depressed children and adolescents that fail to respond to common (monoaminergic) antidepressant treatments"
  • Diets With High Omega-6:Omega-3 Ratios Enhance Risk for Depression, Inflammatory Disease - Medscape, 4/26/07 - "Whereas the early hunter-gatherers had a dietary omega-6:omega-3 ratio of 2:1 to 3:1, this ratio is now 15:1 to 17:1 in North America today ... compared with the study participants who did not have syndromal depression, the 6 participants who had depression had significantly higher omega-6:omega-3 ratios and higher levels of proinflammatory cytokines"
  • Depressive Symptoms, omega-6:omega-3 Fatty Acids, and Inflammation in Older Adults - Psychosom Med. 2007 Mar 30 - "Diets with high n-6:n-3 PUFA ratios may enhance the risk for both depression and inflammatory diseases"
  • Omega 3 fatty acids and the brain: review of studies in depression - Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2007;16 Suppl:391-7 - "Experimental studies in animals have shown that diets lacking omega 3 PUFA lead to substantial disturbances in neural function, which in most circumstances can be restored by the inclusion of omega 3 PUFA in the diet ... It is clear from the literature that DHA is involved in a variety of processes in neural cells and that its role is far more complex than simply influencing cell membrane properties"
  • l-thyroxine augmentation of serotonergic antidepressants in female patients with refractory depression - J Affect Disord. 2007 Feb 6 - "Triiodothyronine (T3) augmentation in treatment-resistant depression had been successfully performed with both tricyclic as well as with SSRI antidepressants. In this paper, the efficacy of addition of moderate dose of l-thyroxine (T4) to serotonergic antidepressants in refractory depression was evaluated ... four weeks of l-thyroxine augmentation, the remission, assessed as 7 or less points on Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) was obtained in eleven patients (64.7%). Five other patients (29.5%) had responded (reduction>50% on HDRS) and one patient did not show an improvement"
  • Omega-3 in fish oils might ease depression - USA Today, 3/6/07 - "The more DHA a person consumed, the more gray matter there was in three areas of the brain linked to mood: the amygdala, the hippocampus and the cingulate, Conklin says. Seriously depressed people tend to have less gray matter in these areas" - See Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • Vascular Nutritional Correlates of Late-Life Depression - Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2006 Sep;14(9):787-795 - "The depression group had higher intake of saturated fat and cholesterol, higher body mass indices, lower alcohol intake, and higher Keys score than the comparison group"
  • Omega-3s may help depressive kids - pilot study - Nutra USA, 6/23/06 - "seven out of ten children in the omega-3 group and none of the children in the placebo group had depression score reductions of 50 per cent or more"
  • Omega-3 treatment of childhood depression: a controlled, double-blind pilot study - Am J Psychiatry. 2006 Jun;163(6):1098-100 - "Analysis of variance showed highly significant effects of omega-3 on symptoms using the CDRS, CDI, and CGI ... Omega-3 fatty acids may have therapeutic benefits in childhood depression"
  • Melatonin Improves Mood In Winter Depression - Science Daily, 5/2/06 - "melatonin, a naturally occurring brain substance, can relieve the doldrums of winter depression, also known as seasonal affective disorder, or SAD"
  • Rapid recovery from major depression using magnesium treatment - Med Hypotheses. 2006 Mar 14 - "Case histories are presented showing rapid recovery (less than 7 days) from major depression using 125-300mg of magnesium (as glycinate and taurinate) with each meal and at bedtime. Magnesium was found usually effective for treatment of depression in general use" - See iHerb or Vitacosticon magnesium products.
  • Depression and long chain n-3 fatty acids in adipose tissue in adults from Crete - Eur J Clin Nutr. 2006 Feb 8 - "The inverse relationship between adipose DHA and depression in adults, replicates findings of a previous study. This relationship indicates that a low long-term dietary intake of DHA is associated with an increased risk for depression in adults" - See Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • Vitamin B(12) and folate serum levels in newly admitted psychiatric patients - Clin Nutr. 2005 Oct 7 - "About 30% of patients had low folate values compared to 2.5% in the control group" - See iHerb or Vitacosticon folic acid products.
  • Chromium Picolinate Linked With Reduced Carbohydrate Cravings in People With Atypical Depression - Doctor's Guide, 9/29/05 - "65% of the chromium picolinate patients with high carbohydrate craving versus 33% of those receiving placebo had significantly greater improvements on total HAM-D-29 scores (p < 0.05). HAM-D-29 is a standard tool commonly used in assessing severity of symptoms in depressed patients" - See iHerb or Vitacosticon chromium products.
  • Using Magnets to Treat Depression - ABC News, 5/17/05
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Depression - Clinical Psychiatry News, 5/05 - "English investigators conducted a 12-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial evaluating the efficacy of EPA doses of 1,000, 2,000, or 4,000 mg/day in addition to unchanged standard treatment in 70 patients with persistent depression. The 1,000-mg group showed a significant decrease in depression as compared with placebo, but the other groups showed little evidence of efficacy ... The bulk of evidence suggests that omega-3 fatty acid supplementation is effective in treating depression in patients with low omega-3 diets" - See Mega Twin EPA at Vitacosticon or iHerb.
  • 'Mangia, Mangia!' -- Certain Foods Fight Depression - Science Daily, 3/25/05 - "confirmed the antidepressant-like effects of omega-3 fatty acids ... uridine, a compound found in sugar beets and molasses, has similar effects"
  • DHEA May Be Effective for Midlife-Onset Minor and Major Depression - Medscape, 2/14/05
  • DHEA May Help Midlife Depression - WebMD, 2/7/05 - "treatment with DHEA resulted in a 50% reduction in depression symptoms in half the participants ... Treatment with the supplement was associated with an increase in testosterone blood levels in both men and women ... Taking DHEA for 6 weeks also significantly improved sexual function scores" - See iHerbor Vitacosticon DHEA products.
  • Major depressive disorder: probiotics may be an adjuvant therapy - Med Hypotheses. 2005;64(3):533-8 - "Stress, a significant factor in MDD [major depressive disorder], is known to alter GI microflora, lowering levels of lactobacilli and bifidobacterium. Research suggests that bacteria in the GI tract can communicate with the central nervous system, even in the absence of an immune response. Probiotics have the potential to lower systemic inflammatory cytokines, decrease oxidative stress, improve nutritional status, and correct SIBO. The effect of probiotics on systemic inflammatory cytokines and oxidative stress may ultimately lead to increased brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). It is our contention that probiotics may be an adjuvant to standard care in MDD"
  • Exercise for Depression Rivals Drugs, Therapy - WebMD, 1/26/05
  • Exercising Has Great Mental Health Benefits - CBS 2 Chicago, 1/25/05 - "This is the first study that looks at exercise alone for treating mild to moderate depression. It found most symptoms were reduced almost in half by people who did some type of aerobic activity for at least 30 minutes, three to five times a week"
  • Dietary Supplement Ups Antidepressant Effect - WebMD, 12/2/04 - "Half the patients in the study reported significant improvement in symptoms when they took SAMe along with their prescription antidepressant for six weeks. Forty-three percent reported having no depression symptoms at all six weeks after adding the dietary supplement to their treatment" - See iHerb or Vitacosticon SAMe products.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Good For The Heart, And (maybe) Good For The Brain - Science Daily, 11/8/04 - "There is mounting evidence that a diet containing omega-3 fatty acids, already known to help prevent cardiovascular disease, may also prevent depression"
  • Vitamin B6 level is associated with symptoms of depression - Psychother Psychosom. 2004 Nov-Dec;73(6):340-3 - "A low plasma level of PLP was significantly associated with the depression score"
  • Serum Folate, Vitamin B(12), and Homocysteine in Major Depressive Disorder, Part 1: Predictors of Clinical Response in Fluoxetine-Resistant Depression - J Clin Psychiatry. 2004 Aug;65(8):1090-1095 - "The response rates for patients with (N = 14) and without (N = 38) low folate levels were 7.1% versus 44.7%, respectively" - See iHerb or Vitacosticon folic acid products.
  • Serum Folate, Vitamin B(12), and Homocysteine in Major Depressive Disorder, Part 2: Predictors of Relapse During the Continuation Phase of Pharmacotherapy - J Clin Psychiatry. 2004 Aug;65(8):1096-1098 - "The relapse rates for patients with (N = 7) and without (N = 64) low folate levels were 42.9% versus 3.2%, respectively" - See iHerb or Vitacosticon folic acid products.
  • Folate for depressive disorders - J Psychopharmacol. 2004 Jun;18(2):251-6 - "adding folate reduced Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) scores on average by a further 2.65 points ... The remaining study found no statistically significant difference when folate alone was compared with trazodone"  - See iHerb or Vitacosticon folic acid products.
  • Shock Treatment for Mild Depression? - Dr. Weil, 7/9/04
  • Chromium Picolinate Supplementation Linked With Reduced Carbohydrate Cravings Associated With Atypical Depression - Doctor's Guide, 6/2/04 - [Nutra USA][WebMD"daily supplementation with 600 mcg of chromium as chromium picolinate, significantly reduced carbohydrate cravings compared to placebo, and improved other symptoms such as mood swings, fatigue and weight gain perception" - See iHerb or Vitacosticon chromium products.
  • S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe) - A Very Important Natural Product - Dr. Murray's Natural Facts, 6/2/04 - "SAMe is perhaps the most effective natural antidepressant (although a strong argument could be made for the extract of St. John's wort standardized to contain 0.3% hypericin)" - See iHerb or Vitacosticon SAMe products.
  • Supplement SAM-e Helps Beat Depression - WebMD, 5/5/04 - "When SAM-e was added to their usual medication, half of the patients improved and 43% went into remission, Alpert reports. "These are quite strong responses and remission rates for a population that failed traditional therapy."" - See iHerb or Vitacosticon SAMe products.
  • Zinc May Increase Antidepressant Therapy Effectiveness - Healthwell Exchange Daily News, 3/4/04 - "the zinc-supplemented group showed a statistically significant improvement compared with the placebo group at 6 and 12 weeks ... Other natural substances that have been shown to benefit depression sufferers include folic acid, DHEA, eicosapentaenoic acid (a fatty acid found in fish oil), and St. John’s wort" - See iHerb or Vitacosticon zinc products.
  • Herbal Combo Effective for Mild Depression - Clinical Psychiatry News, 2/04 - "84% of patients who received the herbal preparation had a 50% reduction in the Hamilton Depression (HAM-D) rating scale scores vs. 18% among those on placebo ... Each patient received 360 mg/day of St. John's wort, 168 mg/day of valerian, and 192 mg/day of passion flower"
  • High Vitamin B12 Levels May be Linked to Better Treatment Outcome for Major Depressive Disorder - Doctor's Guide, 1/5/04 - "Low levels of folate have also been associated with a poor response to antidepressive therapy ... patients with greater HDRS responses had higher vitamin B12 levels both at baseline (r = 0.39, P < .001) and at 6 months ... The positive relationship between higher vitamin B12 levels and improved HDRS score was also confirmed by linear regression analysis" - [Abstract] - See iHerb or Vitacosticon Vitamin B12 products.
  • High vitamin B12 level and good treatment outcome may be associated in major depressive disorder - BMC Psychiatry. 2003 Nov 27 - "Higher vitamin B12 levels significantly associated with a better outcome" - See iHerb or Vitacosticon Vitamin B12 products.
  • Effect of zinc supplementation on antidepressant therapy in unipolar depression: a preliminary placebo-controlled study - Pol J Pharmacol. 2003 Nov-Dec;55(6):1143-7 - "Zinc supplementation significantly reduced scores in both measures after 6- and 12-week supplementation when compared with placebo treatment. This preliminary study is the first demonstration of the benefit of zinc supplementation in antidepressant therapy. The mechanism(s) may be related to modulation of glutamatergic or immune systems by zinc ion" - See iHerb or Vitacosticon zinc products.
  • Exercise Boosts Drug Treatment for Depression - Doctor's Guide, 11/10/03
  • Dietary Folate and Depressive Symptoms Are Associated in Middle-Aged Finnish Men - J Nutr. 2003 Oct;133(10):3233-3236 - "The participants were grouped into thirds according to their dietary folate intake. Those in the lowest third of energy-adjusted folate intake had a higher risk of being depressed [odds ratio (OR) 1.67, 95% CI = 1.19-2.35, P = 0.003] than those in the highest folate intake third ... There were no associations between the intake of cobalamin, pyridoxine or riboflavin, and depression. These results indicate that nutrition may have a role in the prevention of depression" - See iHerb or Vitacosticon folic acid products.
  • Supplements to Balance Mood - Natural Foods Merchandiser, 10/03
  • St. John's Wort -  Natural Foods Merchandiser, 10/03 - "Recently, in a large trial comparing SJW with the conventional antidepressant imipramine, researchers concluded SJW is as effective as imipramine and is better tolerated by patients.13 In a newer, larger trial (240 participants) comparing SJW directly with fluoxetine, researchers concluded SJW was as effective and safer than fluoxetine, particularly in patients suffering depression and anxiety" - See St. John's wort at Amazon.com.
  • The Omega Principle - WashingtonPost.com, 8/19/03 - "Omega-3s, dubbed the "happy" fats in some quarters, are under investigation for treating depression, bipolar disease, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, alcoholism, Alzheimer's disease and even the so-called baby blues, or postpartum depression ... there are many profound neurological disorders that are known to be caused by lipid problems ... The brain itself, is, in fact, about 60 percent fat ... while the body can manufacture saturated fat, cholesterol and even some unsaturated fat -- it is incapable of producing two of the fatty acids that are most vital ... there has been an 1,000-fold increase in [consumption of] omega-6 fatty acids ... Flooding brains and bodies with a diet rich in omega-6 fatty acids theoretically could give an unfair advantage to these molecules, allowing them to block omega-3s from getting inside cells" - See Mega Twin EPA at Vitacosticon or iHerb.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids in major depressive disorder. A preliminary double-blind, placebo-controlled trial - Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2003 Aug;13(4):267-71 - "In this study, we conducted an 8-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, comparing omega-3 PUFAs (9.6 g/day) with placebo, on the top of the usual treatment, in 28 patients with major depressive disorder. Patients in the omega-3 PUFA group had a significantly decreased score on the 21-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression than those in the placebo group" - See Mega Twin EPA at Vitacosticon or iHerb.
  • Higher Folate Levels Correlate with Improved Outcome for SSRI-Treated Geriatric Patients - Doctor's Guide, 7/16/03 - "Geriatric patients who are treated with the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) sertraline appear to experience greater improvement in depression if they have higher than normal folate levels at the start of therapy"
  • A New Era for SAMe - Life Extension Magazine, 6/03
  • Lavender Effective Add-on Therapy for Depression - New Hope Natural Media, 5/8/03 - "the group taking the combination of imipramine and lavender had a significantly greater reduction in HAM-D scores and the antidepressant effect occurred more rapidly, compared with those taking imipramine or lavender alone" - See iHerb or Vitacosticon lavender products.
  • Low Folate Concentrations Associated With Depression - Doctor's Guide, 5/2/03 - "Physically healthy people who are depressed have detectably lower folate status than those who are not depressed" - See iHerb or Vitacosticon folic acid products.
  • Depression and Folate Status in the US Population - Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics 2003;72:80-87 - "Low folate status was found to be most characteristic of recently recovered subjects, and a large proportion of such subjects were folate deficient. Conclusions: Low folate status was detectable in depressed members of the general US population. Folate supplementation may be indicated during the year following a depressive episode" - See iHerb or Vitacosticon folic acid products.
  • Bright Light Therapy May Boost Testosterone - WebMD, 4/22/03 - "early morning light therapy caused a surge in a pituitary hormone called luteinizing hormone (LH) that raises testosterone levels in men ... Previous studies have shown that bright light therapy of daily exposure to specially designed, high-intensity light boxes can alleviate many symptoms of depression, especially among people who suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) during winter months" - I did a lot of research on lighting for our home owners association.  See http://qualitycounts.com/fp/lights.htm.  The closest fluorescents to actual sunlight are probably the ones with 5000 or 6500 Kelvin rating.  The lights advertised as "cool white" are around 3000 Kelvin.  I've always felt that the "cool white" phase was just a gimmick to sell what was cheap to make.
  • Chromium Effective for Common Type of Depression - New Hope Natural Media, 4/10/03 - "15 people suffering from atypical depression, who had been off of antidepressant medication for at least seven days, were randomly assigned to receive chromium picolinate or a placebo for eight weeks. The dose was 400 mcg per day for the first two weeks, then 600 mcg per day for the remainder of the study ... Seventy percent (7 of 10) of those receiving chromium responded to the treatment, whereas none of the five individuals in the placebo group had a positive response. Although the number of participants in the study was small, the difference in outcome between the chromium and placebo groups was highly statistically significant. Moreover, in 60% of those receiving chromium, the depression went into remission" - See iHerb or Vitacosticon chromium products.
  • Statins Appear To Have Favourable Impact On Psychological Conditions - Doctor's Guide, 4/2/03 - "the longer people are on the statins the more their symptoms of depression, anxiety and hostility decrease ... When people stop taking statins or can not tolerate the medicine, their depression, anxiety and hostility returns to pre-statin levels" - Note:  Red yeast rice is a non-prescription statin.  See iHerb and Vitacosticon red yeast rice products.
  • The Death of Anti-Aging Supplements? - Life Extension Magazine, 3/03 - "During these many trials, researchers routinely found that when taken daily, DHEA supplements effectively reduced depressive episodes and enhanced mood. In fact, according to one major study in the UK, as many as 67% of men and 82% of women reported a noticeable decrease in their depressive symptoms while taking as little as 25 mg/day of DHEA"
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone Augmentation in the Management of Negative, Depressive, and Anxiety Symptoms in Schizophrenia - Archives of General Psychiatry, 2/03 - "Results indicated significant improvement in negative symptoms (P<.001), as well as in depressive (P<.05) and anxiety (P<.001) symptoms in individuals receiving DHEA. This effect was especially noted in women"
  • Fatty Acid Effective against Depression - New Hope Natural Media, 1/9/03 - "E-EPA is a chemically modified form of EPA ... the best results were achieved with the smallest amount of E-EPA tested ... The authors of the study speculated that taking too much E-EPA might cause an imbalance between the two major classes of essential fatty acids: the omega-3 class (which includes EPA) and the omega-6 class (which includes linoleic and arachidonic acids ... E-EPA is not widely available at the present time"
  • S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine Results Similar to Imipramine in Major Depression - Doctor's Guide, 12/30/02 - "A total of 146 patients received 400 milligrams per day of intramuscular SAMe and 147 received 150 mg/d of oral imipramine ... SAMe and imipramine did not differ significantly on any efficacy measure, either main or secondary ... Adverse events were significantly less in patients treated with SAMe compared to those treated with imipramine" - Note:  There seems to be conflicting studies on whether oral SAMe is poorly absorbed.  I've added absorption studies near the bottom of my SAMe page.
    • SAM-e (S-Adenosylmethionine) - James South - "Because SAMe tablets are enterically coated, they should NOT be cut in half to achieve a lower dose- the SAMe may then break down before absorption"
  • SAMe Beneficial in Treating Osteoarthritis, Depression, and Liver Disease - New Hope Natural Media, 12/12/02 - "More than 100 human studies have been published in medical journals showing that SAMe is a safe, effective treatment and, in the cases of depression and osteoarthritis, works as well as conventional medications"
  • Mechanisms Differ Between Depression and Either Vitamin B12 Or Folate - Doctor's Guide, 12/10/02 - "hyperhomocysteinemia, vitamin B12 deficiency and, to a lesser extent, folate deficiency all were related to depressive disorders"
  • Supplement [SAM-e] Found Effective As Antidepressant - Intelihealth, 11/6/02 - "The dietary supplement SAMe is about as effective as older, conventional antidepressants in treating depression, a preliminary, government-funded study says. It also finds SAMe to be comparable to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications in treating the pain of osteoarthritis. Such drugs include aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen" - See iHerb or  Vitacosticon SAM-e products.
  • Fish Oil Eases Depression - WebMD, 10/18/02 - "people who added a daily dose of omega-3 fatty acids to their regular antidepressant treatment had significant improvement in symptoms, including anxiety, sleeping problems, sadness, decreased sexual desire, and suicidal tendencies ... Previous studies have suggested that depressed people have lower-than-normal levels of a fatty acid known as EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), which plays an important role in maintaining normal brain function" - See my essential fatty acids page, my omega-3 page or Mega Twin EPA at Vitacosticon or iHerb.
  • Fish Oil May Help Relieve Stubborn Depressionicon - Reuters, 10/17/02 - "Daily supplements of an omega-3 fatty acid--found in fish and fish oil--may help alleviate the symptoms of depression in patients who do not respond to standard antidepressant medications, new research findings suggest ... Previous researchers have suggested that the balance of omega-3 fatty acids in the brain may become skewed in people with depression, and earlier studies have shown that fish oil supplements can help alleviate the symptoms of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, or manic depression"
  • Extending Healthspan: Hormones, Supplements, Diet and Exercise - Life Extension Magazine, 10/02 - "Finally, the authors note that testosterone is an excellent antidepressant. It restores good mood, self-confidence and sociability, often making antidepressants such as Prozac no longer necessary. “Grumpy old men” are those with testosterone deficiency" - See Forever Ageless at Amazon.com
  • Government Report Concludes: Dietary Supplement SAM-e Equally Effective as Prescription Drugs for Depression, Osteoarthritisicon - Vitacost/Business Wire, 10/3/02
  • Straight Talk on Natural Depression Remedies - Natural Foods Merchandiser, 10/02
  • Testosterone Deficiency & Depression, Does DHEA Raise the Levels of Bioavailable Testosterone in Men? - Life Extension Magazine, 8/02 - "As testosterone replacement for women is becoming increasingly commonplace, women too report not just restored libido, but also improved mood and greater energy, less anxiety and more assertiveness ... low levels of free testosterone were the best predictor of depression, regardless of age ... the study [in men] showed no correlation between depression and free estradiol ... The mood-improving action of testosterone is more likely to be due to the direct action of testosterone on the brain-possibly through raising the levels of dopamine, a very important "reward" neurotransmitter ... a well-controlled study published in the prestigious Journal of Clinical and Experimental Endocrinology and Metabolism did in fact find a significant rise in free testosterone in men aged 60 to 84 years, after three months on 100 mg of DHEA"
  • Bright-Light Therapy Effective In Non-Seasonal Depression - Doctor's Guide, 5/23/02
  • Adjunct Folinic Acid For Depressed Patients With Inadequate SSRI Response - Doctor's Guide, 5/8/02 - "Investigators report that patient folate levels rose. Hamilton Depression Rating Scale-17 (HAM-D-17) scores among 16 patients who completed the study decreased"
  • Experiments Strengthen Link Between Fish Oil, Mental Problems - Intelihealth, 4/18/02 - "Infant monkeys fed baby formulas supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids - the ones found in "fish oil" - were stronger and more alert even at less than a week old than monkeys given standard baby formula ... Harvard researchers gave two groups of persons who had recently been hospitalized with depression diets that were high in omega-3 and omega-6, respectively. The results were so dramatic that after three months, the scientists were directed by a research oversight committee to stop the experiment and allow all the subjects to take omega-3" - Personal recommendation Mega Twin EPA at Vitacosticon or iHerb.
  • Salmon May Help Relieve Depression - WebMD, 3/15/02 - "Patients randomly received either the fish oil capsule or a sugar pill in addition to the antidepressant medication they were taking ... After four weeks, six of 10 patients receiving E-EPA -- but only one of 10 receiving placebo -- had significantly reduced symptoms of depression ... The effect of E-EPA was significant from week two of treatment ... Depressed mood, guilt feelings, worthlessness, and insomnia were all improved" - Note: One softgel of Twinlab TwinEPAicon contains 600 mg of EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid).

Depression and Endocrinology:

  • Wilson's Thyroid Syndrome - "Conversion of T4 to T3 can also be impaired by glucocorticoids" - Maybe that is the mechanism by which cortisol causes depression, and if so, could T3 then cure the depression? - Ben, Related article:
  • Link between depression, abdominal obesity confirmed by new study - Science Daily, 6/9/10 - "cortisol, a stress hormone, is related to depression and abdominal obesity. "So, there is reason to suspect that people who are depressed would have higher levels of abdominal obesity versus other parts of the body because of elevated cortisol,""
  • Symptoms Of Depression In Obese Children Linked To Elevated Cortisol - Science Daily, 6/11/09 - "There is evidence in adults that abnormal regulation of cortisol plays a role in both obesity and depression ... Cortisol levels in the saliva in the afternoon and evening correlated positively with symptoms of depression ... The more depressive symptoms that subjects reported, the higher the cortisol levels at those times"
  • Neurogenesis In Adult Brain: Association With Stress And Depression - Science Daily, 8/31/08 - "Chronic stress can affect the brain and lead into depression"
  • Depression can trigger diabetes, study suggests - MSNBC, 6/17/08 - "Depressed people were 42 percent more likely to develop diabetes ... depression also pushes up the levels of stress hormones such as cortisol ... Elevated cortisol levels can impair insulin sensitivity in the body and encourage belly fat, a risk factor for diabetes"
  • Depression Associated With Low Bone Mineral Density - Medscape, 12/3/07 - "The novelty of this study is the fact that these women were not severely depressed ... Depression is considered a disease of chronic stress, Dr. Cizza said, with attendant increases in the stress hormone cortisol, and cytokines produced by the immune system. "Those substances are helpful to fight stress, but if there is too much cortisol or cytokines, there are side effects," he said. "One of the side effects is bone loss, so it was obvious to ask the question, 'do women with depression have low bone mass?'""
  • l-thyroxine augmentation of serotonergic antidepressants in female patients with refractory depression - J Affect Disord. 2007 Feb 6 - "The study included 17 female patients ... After four weeks of l-thyroxine augmentation, the remission, assessed as 7 or less points on Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) was obtained in eleven patients (64.7%). Five other patients (29.5%) had responded (reduction>50% on HDRS) and one patient did not show an improvement"
  • Use OF T3 Thyroid Hormone to Treat Depression - DrMirkin.com - "some people become depressed when they take just T4 and their depression can be cured when they take both thyroid hormones, T3 and T4"
  • Thyroid Supplementation Enhances Antidepressant Response - Medscape, 9/21/06 - "Remission occurred in 31 patients (58.5%) receiving T3 compared with 19 patients (38%) in the placebo group" - See T3 at International Anti-aging Systems but check with your doctor first.
  • Salivary Cortisol Response to Prednisolone Challenge Helps Understand Treatment-Resistant Depression - Doctor's Guide, 9/19/06 - "prednisolone is a better corticosteroid than dexamethasone to assess the HPA axis because it binds to 2 different receptors, not only the glucocorticoid receptors but also the mineralocorticoid receptors, providing a more physiological approach"
  • A Comparison of Lithium and T3 Augmentation Following Two Failed Medication Treatments for Depression: A STAR*D Report - Am J Psychiatry. 2006 Sep;163(9):1519-30 - "After a mean of 9.6 weeks (SD=5.2) of treatment, remission rates were 15.9% with lithium augmentation and 24.7% with T(3) augmentation" - See T3 at International Anti-aging Systems.
  • Chronic Exposure To Stress Hormone Causes Anxious Behavior In Mice - Science Daily, 4/17/06 - "Scientists already knew that many people with depression have high levels of cortisol, a human stress hormone, but it wasn't clear whether that was a cause or effect. Now it appears likely that long-term exposure to cortisol actually contributes to the symptoms of depression" - See my cortisol page for ways to reduce it.
  • T3 augmentation of SSRI resistant depression - J Affect Disord. 2006 Feb 14 - "T3 augmentation was associated with a statistically significant drop (p<.003) in the mean HAMD at end of the three weeks compared to baseline scores ... T3 augmentation resulted in improvement of mood scores"
  • Depression May Raise Women's Diabetes Risk - WebMD, 12/22/04 - "symptoms of depression were linked to greater levels of insulin resistance among the women ... depression can alter hormones relating to how the body handles stress. This in turn can affect body fat distribution and how it handles blood sugar metabolism"
  • Atypical Depression: Thyroid Link Still Alive - WebMD, 3/15/04
  • Algorithm-Based Treatment Shows High Lack Of Response To Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors - Doctor's Guide, 4/17/03 - "When the clinicians added T3, they found it was effective among 10 out of 16 women patients (62.5%), but was not effective in any of the 9 male patients who received it. Although values were within the normal range, patients who responded to T3 had higher serum thyroid-stimulating hormone levels than those who did not ... The effect of T3 may be related to thyroid function even within the normal range"
  • Mirtazapine Attenuates Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical Axis Hyperactivity in Depressed Patients - Doctor's Guide, 4/17/03 - "it has been shown to have an acute inhibiting effect on cortisol secretion in healthy subjects ... Apparently, mirtazapine rapidly attenuates HPA axis hyperactivity in depressed patients via direct pharmaco-endocrinological effects. However, this amelioration of HPA system dysregulation is not necessarily related to clinical improvement" - Click here for a previous study.
  • Treatment of Subclinical Hypothyroidism Advocated - Doctor's Guide, 4/7/03 - "Adverse effects fall into four general categories, according to Dr. Gardner -- neuropsychiatric symptoms, abnormal lipids, altered myocardial function, and greater risk of atherosclerotic heart disease ... Adding to the controversy, he added, is growing evidence that the upper limit of normal serum TSH concentration should be less than 2.5-3.0 U/mL and not the current levels of 5.0-5.5 U/mL"
  • Sleep-Endocrine Changes Could Be Most Prominent In Postmenopausal Major Depression Patients - Doctor's Guide, 3/7/03
  • Testosterone Gel Could Help Depressed Men With Low Testosterone Levels - Doctor's Guide, 1/8/03
  • Testosterone May Help Depressed Men - WebMD, 1/3/03 - "nearly half of the men who had not responded to conventional depression treatment had low or low-to-normal testosterone levels. And several showed dramatic improvement when the male hormone was given along with antidepressants"
  • Depression Management - ContinuingEducation.com, exp. 12/31/02 - See table six, recommends 5 - 50 mcg T3, 100 mcg (.1 mg) T4
  • New Vistas in Antidepressant Development - Medscape, 11/21/02 - "The evidence for corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) hypersecretion in depression and certain anxiety disorders is compelling ... CRF is transported to the anterior pituitary via the hypothalamo-hypophyseal portal system where it promotes the release of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) into the general circulation, which in turn stimulates the production and release of cortisol from the adrenal cortex ... Numerous studies have revealed that the direct injection of CRF into the CNS of laboratory animals produces effects reminiscent of the cardinal symptoms of depression, including decreased libido"
  • Bipolar Patients Sensitive to Thyroid Function Variations - Doctor's Guide, 1/8/02 - "They studied 65 patients in the depressed phase of bipolar I disorder to test the hypothesis that patients with lower thyroid function, even within the normal range, might have a poorer response to treatment initially ... Outcomes were relatively poor unless patients had FTI [free thyroxine index] values above the median and TSH values below the median"
  • Cortisol Feedback Could Be Normal in Major Depression Patients - Doctor's Guide, 1/2/02
  • Thyroid Hormones Accelerate Depressive Response to Drug Therapy - Doctor's Guide, 10/30/01 - "Five of the six studies found T3 to be significantly more effective than placebo in accelerating clinical response ... Investigators say they found that the average effect was highly significant"
  • Researchers Explore New Meds for Mood Disorders - Clinical Psychiatry News, 10/01 - "Another approach being developed for patients with high levels of circulating cortisol involves the abortion pill mifepristone ... The findings, to be published this month in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, suggest that a rapid antidepressant response (approximately 7 days) may occur in some patients"
  • Researchers Hopeful Antidepressant Augmentation Will Improve Remission - Clinical Psychiatry News, 9/01 - "In psychotic depression, a corticosteroid antagonist looks most promising. Mifepristone, which is used to induce abortions but was originally designed as treatment for Cushing's disease, has achieved rapid reversal of symptoms in some 30 psychotically depressed patients, ostensibly by blocking cortisol receptors. The drug is now being investigated in a large double-blind trial, he said"
  • Major Depression: Tianeptine At Least Halves Relapse And Recurrence Rates - Doctor's Guide, 3/29/01 - "A smaller proportion of the tianeptine group experienced either relapses or recurrences compared to placebo (16 and 36 percent, respectively) ... events related to treatment were rare and mild in both arms of the study ... The rates of relapse and recurrence decreased between two- and three-fold among tianeptine users compared to placebo. However, the treatments were equally well accepted by the two groups" - note: tianeptine is believed to inhibit cortisol - Ben
  • Depressed Patients Show Thyroid Resistance To Thyrotropin Action - Doctor's Guide, 2/6/01
  • Serum Thyrotropin Concentrations and Bioactivity During Sleep Deprivation in Depression - AMA, 1/01
  • Mirtazapine Regulates Stress Hormones, Improves Sleep In Depressed Patients - Doctor's Guide, 8/8/01 - "Mirtazipine might be the best option for depressed patients with sleep disturbance and irregularities in stress hormone function ... Depression is often accompanied by sleep disturbance -- subjective and objective -- as well as [hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal] HPA-axis dysregulation ... Mirtazapine is a treatment that [profoundly affects] the HPA-axis within hours and promotes sleep within days ... They tested the 24-hour urinary free cortisol (UFC) levels of 16 healthy men and 20 men and women with major depression ... mirtazipne significantly reduced UFC concentrations, which is often elevated in depressed patients"
  • Effects of thyroxine as compared with thyroxine plus triiodothyronine in patients with hypothyroidism - N Engl J Med. 1999 Feb 11;340(6):469-70 - "among 15 visual-analogue scales used to indicate mood and physical status, the results for 10 were significantly better after treatment with thyroxine [t4] plus triiodothyronine [t3]"
  • Study Supports Role Of Anticort In Treating Alzheimer's, HIV - Doctor's Guide, 4/17/98 - "Cortisol's role as a cause of disease is most recently confirmed in a study to be published in the May issue of the journal Nature Neuroscience. Authored by Dr. Sonia Lupien of McGill University, the study reports that high levels of cortisol play a key role in Alzheimer's, memory loss, shrinkage of the brain and aging. Dr. Lupien also states that such illnesses might be prevented with medications to reduce elevated cortisol levels."
  • RU-486 could aid variety of ills - MSNBC, 11/2/00 - "RU-486’s ability to block the action of a different hormone — cortisol — has prompted doctors to try it for psychotic depression. In addition to feeling sad and worthless, people with this devastating condition have distorted thinking and often suffer delusions or hallucinations. Many
    become suicidal.

    “They have very, very disturbing and crazy thoughts ... and they have no ability to suppress them,” said Joseph K. Belanoff, a California psychiatrist who is chief executive officer of Corcept Therapeutics Inc., a small pharmaceutical company. Corcept is sponsoring a study of RU-486 for psychotic depression.

    Several lines of evidence have led researchers to suspect that some of the symptoms of psychotic depression are caused by an excess of cortisol in the brain. Cortisol levels rise in response to stress and may be abnormally elevated in depressed individuals. Similar symptoms can occur in patients with Cushing’s syndrome, an overabundance of cortisol usually caused by a tumor, and RU-486 has cured the mental disturbance in some
    such cases.

    “Our feeling has been that a lot of the cognitive problems and delusions that you see in some of the patients are due to the [cortisol],” said Alan F. Schatzberg, chairman of the psychiatry department at Stanford University School of Medicine, where researchers are conducting a study that will test RU-486 on 30 patients with psychotic depression.

    RU-486 or other cortisol-blocking drugs “may be better alternatives than ... some of the typical treatments” such as antipsychotic drugs or electric shock therapy, he said."
  • Two studies implying that cortisol is the cause, not the result of depression:

Other News: